A few weeks ago, our water heater broke. It was leaking from the top and the basement was starting to flood a little bit. I urgently had to call a plumber and unfortunately, it had to be replaced. We were billed for $1,200 and I had to file a claim for our Home Systems Protection through State Farm. They approved our claim without any issues but there was a $500 deductible. Many friends and family have been telling me about getting an actual home warranty so that's what I did on July 12th.
I was browsing online and like a lot of services, every company has both good and bad reviews. One of the "most recommended" companies was Home Choice Warranty. While I was still on their website checking out plans, I had to fill out my personal information and before I can even submit it, I already got a phone call from one of their sales rep - Matthew. I should've taken this as a major red flag for their hard selling tactics but I was still in the state of panic about expenses and things breaking. I was paranoid that what if one breaks after another - then I'll have to shell out another $500 and how many more $500 deductibles do I need to pay??
I entertained the offer and spoke with Matthew. Bear was at work and I didn't want to make a decision immediately, but Matthew made sure that if I sign up now I have 30 days to cancel. I was still hesitant, so he gave me what were seemingly great offers that was quite too hard to pass.
This should've been more reasons to decline, but I listened. Matthew told me that he would waive the 30-day waiting period and the plan would be effective immediately. Additionally, if I purchase 3 years I will only have to pay $1260 in three monthly payments! Now how can I pass this up? I can sign up now and cancel later after I discuss with Bear and decide it's not needed. So okay, let's try this. We eventually decided to go with it so I didn't call back.
The Nightmare Begins
We went camping (updates on that to follow) and came home to the AC not working at all. It's been really hot the past few weeks so no AC is a disaster. I filed a claim and within minutes it was instantly denied. They said that the issue arose before the plan can take effect. I was very unhappy. I immediately called them to explain what Matthew told me and here's how it went:
Call 1 - Claims Representative: They told me why it was cancelled so I explained what Matthew told me. They said there were no notes on the account stating the 30-day waiting period was waived and unless there was any proof, they can't do anything. I said, they record calls and I don't. They should be able to review that call to determine what I was told when they sold the warranty to me. The rep then told me they have to transfer me to Sales because he doesn't have that access so I agreed.
Call 2 - Transfer to Sales: Call dropped. I wasn't even able to speak with anyone. The phone rang, someone breathed loudly into the line and the call dropped.
Call 3 - Sales Representative: I called Sales directly and the person who answered.... well didn't really answer. The phone rang, again another sigh and breathing on the other line and I said, "hello?". The rep responded and sounded irritated, "hello??". I was so confused, did I call the wrong number? I asked if it was Choice Home Warranty and he said yes. There was no customer service at all, he did not ask why I called or anything. So I proceeded to explain why I called and I said, "I'm calling because the person who sold me the warranty on July 12 told me........."
The call dropped. Again.
Call 4 - Sales Representative: I made another call, and something similar happened. Someone sighed on the other line before I can even say anything, and then angrily said, "hello??" I started the same spiel and explained why I was calling but this time I was able to complete my sentence. The sales rep then said, "so you bought warranty when the AC was already broken??"
The audacity to accuse....
I explained that I didn't, and that I was told about the 30-day waiting time being waived and now I need to file a claim. The rep grunted and sighed and guess what happened??
Okay, okay - this time he didn't drop the call. He returned me to the main line and I was back to the menu options.
Call 5 - Sales Representative: Finally got a hold of another person. Now this lady still seemed annoyed that she had to answer the phone. I typically don't mind because I was a call center rep before too. I know it's stressful and many times customers are mean. In my current job, I sometimes need to review these calls and I know how difficult it can be for both parties.
Anyways, this sales rep finally let me explain the whole thing.... and she said, "Well........"
And back to the main line I was. Again.
I thought my experience with AT&T customer service was the worst. I don't always complain about these things - but all these happened in less than an hour - and the long wait times only to be dropped or transferred without notice. I just want our AC fixed and honestly, I don't really care anymore if it would be the home warranty or State Farm that would cover it. I almost wanted to cry earlier.
I understand life is frustrating, I do. Again, I've worked in customer service and right now I am currently working in customer advocacy. I know how things can be annoying and repetitive - for both the reps and the customer. I really do. But I don't think there is an excuse to treat customers so poorly like this. At least tell me which department I need to speak with instead of transferring me to the main line while I'm talking. At least... answer the phone properly instead of making it sound like I called a total stranger who was angrily responding to a prank.
Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed. I appealed the claim and explained through email what I was told. If they won't cover it, then I would be cancelling the coverage and will be going through a different company. If I wasn't provided misleading information just to make a sale then I wouldn't care if they didn't cover it. I wouldn't even file a claim to begin with and just go with my existing coverage through State Farm and pay that deductible.
When I was reading the reviews, I was thinking maybe people are just angry even if the claim denial was accurate. Now, I'm thinking they might have also been told things that weren't true or were promised offers that weren't fulfilled. At this point, I think it's best to stay away from this company. I will see if they will honor their sales rep's initial promise and continue with my claim. I will probably still drop them. Let's see what happens next.
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